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Melissa M. Goodman

March 13, 1969 October 27, 2023
Melissa M. Goodman
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Obituary for Melissa M. Goodman

Melissa Madeline (Erlemeier) Goodman, age 54, passed away peacefully on October 27, 2023, with her beloved family at her side in Dallas, Texas.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 6, 2023, at Faith Family Church of Harlan, Iowa. Rev. Jeff Erlemeier will officiate. There will be a celebration of Melissa’s life in Dallas, Texas at a future date.

The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton & Danbury, Iowa are in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online

Melissa was born in Sioux City, Iowa on March 13, 1969, to Roger and Mary Erlemeier. The oldest of six, Melissa grew up on the family farm in Danbury, Iowa, where she was a natural leader and example to her younger siblings. At Maple Valley High School, she was a standout student, a star basketball player, and showed calves with the 4-H Club.

In fourth grade, Melissa announced she was going to be a lawyer. Her parents immediately bought her a briefcase, and so began her journey to the law. After obtaining an English degree from the University of Iowa, she graduated with honors from Creighton University School of Law, where she was an editor of the law review. In 1994, she moved to Dallas to join Haynes and Boone, LLP.

Melissa would spend her entire 29-year career at Haynes and Boone, where she became a respected litigation partner and trusted advisor to many clients in complex labor/employment matters. The combination of her sharp intellect, talent, work ethic, and spot-on judgment would propel Melissa to the top of her field, as well as many leadership roles at Haynes and Boone. She chaired the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, served on the Board of Directors, and filled the critical role of employment counsel to the firm. A trailblazer for diversity in the legal profession, Melissa generously shared her time and wisdom with countless lawyers at the firm and beyond, many of whom consider Melissa to be one of their most influential mentors and role models.

Everyone who knew Melissa – whether professionally, through her church, on the running trail or at the gym – was captivated by her magnetic personality, impeccable sense of style, and boundless strength, resilience and optimism. But Melissa saved her greatest gifts for her family. She met the love of her life, John Goodman, at the North Church in 1995, and together they raised two wonderful girls, Jordyn (23) and Kate (19), who were Melissa’s greatest pride and joy. Nothing mattered more to Melissa than her faith and her family – those defined her above all. She held fast to family traditions throughout her life, including cherished twice-yearly reunions in Iowa with her large, devoted family.

Melissa is survived by her husband, John Goodman and their daughters Jordyn Goodman and Kate Goodman of Dallas, Texas; father, Roger Erlemeier (Joyce) of Harlan, Iowa; siblings, Sue Rosener (Brian) of Sioux City, Iowa, Dan Erlemeier (Denine) of Lincoln, Nebraska, Jeff Erlemeier (Rebecca) of Harlan, Iowa, Elizabeth Enke (Todd) of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, Thomas Erlemeier (Chrisy) of Johnston, Iowa; and 20 nieces and nephews.

Melissa is preceded in death by her mother, Mary Kobernusz Erlemeier.

For those who would like to make a gift in memory of Melissa, please consider UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center (, Faith Presbyterian Hospice (, or Trinity Christian Academy of Addison, Texas (

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Previous Events

Funeral Service




11:00 AM 11/6/2023 11:00:00 AM
Faith Family Church

2099 Chatburn Ave
Harlan, IA 51537

Faith Family Church
2099 Chatburn Ave Harlan 51537 IA
United States

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